engagement

The Hollows, Cary, IL Engagement Photography | Joe & Missy

The Hollows, Cary, IL Engagement Photographer

From my very first communications with Missy, I knew I was going to love spending time with her, and my engagement session with her and Joe further confirmed my initial thoughts! She's bubbly and adorable and I think it may actually be impossible to be around her and not smile. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Missy and Joe wandering around The Hollows and getting to know the two of them more, and I simply cannot wait to photograph their wedding next month!

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North Ave Beach, Humboldt Park, Chicago Engagement Photography | Mike & Caroline

North Ave Beach, Humboldt Park, Chicago Engagement Photographer

Spring in the Midwest was its usual unpredictable self this year and got off to a chilly and snowy start, so I was very thankful when my shoot day with Mike & Caroline for their engagement session rolled around and it was sunny and in the 60's! Of course, depending on where you are in Chicago, sunny and 60* means windy and 50* (I'm lookin' at you, North Ave beach), but there was no snow, rain, or sleet, so I was content. 

It was a pleasure sharing that day with Mike & Caroline, photographing them and getting to know them more before their wedding day this September. We hopped around the city and hit up a combination of special and iconic locations from the place that started it all for these two (Benchmark in Old Town), to the North Ave skyline and Humboldt Park, and ending on their rooftop (with another amazing view of that Chicago skyline I might add!) where we were joined by their adorable pup. (Thanks again for driving, Mike, and to you as well Caroline for your navigating skillz!!)

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Algonquin, IL, Engagement Photography | Daryn & Lillian

Algonquin, IL, Engagement Photographer

Kicked off my 2018 engagement season with these two cuties, and it feels so good to be back behind the camera! This is actually the third time that I've snapped pictures of Daryn & Lillian, although it's technically the first official time. D&L were guests at both Geoff & Stephanie's and Mike & Erica's weddings last year (Daryn is Geoff and Erica's cousin!)! I'm pretty sure this is the most I've ever gotten to photograph one side of a family before and I'm LOVING it!! It's actually going to feel a little strange next year if I don't get to photograph someone from this family!

Daryn and Lillian did so great for their first official time in front of my lens, and I can't wait to photograph their wedding this September!! 

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DeKalb, IL Engagement Photography | Sang & Brenda

DeKalb, IL Engagement Photography

I met up with Sang and Brenda last month just two days after the season changed to Fall for their engagement pictures. I know that you're probably thinking, "Ahhh Fall, such a great time of year! I love the nice crisp feeling in the air!!" Well, in this case, you're WRONG. It may have been Fall, but it was a scorcher!! 95*, muggy, July-type weather. The ole Midwest sometimes doesn't know what to do with itself when the seasons change. Whatever. We still got some rockin' images that I'm really proud of and I can't wait to photograph these two again in June when they get married!

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North Ave Beach Engagement Photography | Tom & Laura

North Ave Beach Engagement Photography.

Tom and Laura are currently living New Orleans, but since they're originally from the Chicago area it only made sense for them to do their engagement session in their home state, specifically in the city which holds so much nostalgia for them from the past 10 years of their relationship. The two of them were so stinkin' cute and giggly during their shoot, and while they tried to tell me that they were super awkward in pictures, I challenge you to find a single awkward photo of them in this post! Spoiler: THERE AREN'T ANY!

I have to admit that I wasn't sure this session was gonna happen. We had been having some crazy off and on storms all day, but I took a chance and made the trip out to Chicago anyways and I'm SO glad I did!! I think it stopped raining about an hour before our shoot, and about 10 minutes after we wrapped up, it literally started down pouring! Talk about perfect timing!! So we didn't get our beautifully lit sunset pictures at North Ave beach that we had initially planned for (or more accurately, that I had initially planned for ;) ), but honestly, the storm that was rolling in as we neared the end of the shoot created a moody & romantic set of images that just might be my new favorites!

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Tom & Laura, congrats again and best of luck as you continue to plan your wedding!! Blessings!!

Millennium Park, Chicago Engagement Photography | Matt & Liz

Millennium Park, Chicago, IL Engagement Photography.

I had a great time getting know Matt & Liz a little more last month during their engagement session! We started off by wandering around the Chicago Cultural Center before heading out to Millennium Park (thanks for holding off, rain!). I can't wait to photograph these two again when they get married in September! (Doesn't September sound like forever away??? It will be here before we know it!)

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See you guys in September!!

DeKalb, IL Engagement Photography | Kent & Karen

DeKalb, IL Engagement Photography.

I had a fun, chilly time with Kent and Karen last month! We evaded geese while wandering around the NIU campus, then caught an incredible sunset at The Ellwood House! Hands and faces may have been numb by the time we were finished, but no amount of cold could keep these two cuties from smiling through it all. 

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Chicago, IL Engagement Photography | Mike & Erica

Chicago, IL Engagement Photography.

Nothing can warm up a chilly, gloomy Chicago day like photographing an adorable couple in love! I'm actually starting to enjoy photographing engagement sessions in the cold...forces people to get all close and snuggly without too much prompting from me. ;) In all honestly, though, Mike and Erica didn't need the cold to force them because these two were snuggling before I even told them to! 

Fun fact before we get to the pictures: I'm photographing Erica's brother's wedding this July (Geoff & Stephanie), and then Mike & Erica's wedding in December! I'm so stoked!! It's gonna be a great year!!

ANYWAYS. Feast thine eyes upon these two cuties! 

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St. Charles, IL Engagement Photography | Dan & Anne

St. Charles, IL Engagement Photography.

These two were the smiliest, laughiest couple I think I've ever worked with. Dan & Anne met doing improv in Chicago, and I'm pretty sure Dan's mission in life is to make Anne laugh continually (and once you see how adorable Anne's smiling face is you'd hardly blame him). From our time together earlier this month I can attest to the fact that his mission has been a success! I've photographed a handful of improv and theater couples, and they've always proved to bring the fun (meaning I laugh the entire time), so I'm very much looking forward to kicking off my 2017 wedding season with these two in March! 

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Congrats, you two, and see you soon!! Thanks for braving the cold with me!! 

Valparaiso, IN Engagement Photography | Isaiah & Kimberlyn

Valparaiso, IL Engagement Photography.

Hey, Northern Illinois, what in the WORLD is up with December this year?!?!  We've had snow every weekend in December (with more on the way this weekend), and crazy windchills that don't usually happen until January! Don't get me wrong, I'm all about a white Christmas and all that, but this is a bit too much for someone who's cold all the time! I am NOT a fan, my friends!

ANYWAYS, all that to say that my session with Isaiah and Kimberlyn was originally scheduled for the first weekend in December, which is usually pretty mild here in the Midwest (yes 32*F is mild 'round these parts). Instead, we ended up getting 5 inches of snow, and since I was supposed to meet them out in Chicago (an 1 1/2 hour drive for me), we had to cancel. We rescheduled for this past weekend, and it. was. cooooooooold! Normally I don't shoot sessions if it's below 30*F, but we needed to do this shoot before the end of the year for save-the-dates, so I made an exception and trucked on out to Valparaiso, IN! It was a whopping 20*F with a windchill that made it feel like a balmy 11*F, but these two handled it like the pros they are! We kept the cars running and jumped in them frequently to warm up and BAM! We made it happen! *insert punching fist emoji here* 

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I just want you to keep in mind that it felt like 11*F. Look at how freaking natural they are!! <3

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Isaiah & Kimberlyn, THANK YOU for your flexibility and being willing to freeze your tushies off to make this session happen!! See you guys soon! Blessings! :D :D :D

DeKalb, IL Family & Engagement Photography | Sam, Megan, & Hayes

DeKalb, IL Family Photography.

October was jam-packed with adorable family and engagement sessions, and this team was no exception! Sam and Megan are getting married in July 2017 and it was great to be able to get to know them more at their engagement shoot! 

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Megan's son Hayes joined in for a few family pictures! 

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See you guys next year!! Blessings!!

Starved Rock Engagement Photography | Matt & Anna

Starved Rock Engagement Photography.

Matt and Anna are my nerdy, bookish soulmates. Like a lot of people, I love reading, but it's not that often that I meet with people who enjoy the exact same books I do (mostly fantasy with a bit of historical fiction and a dash of sci-fi every once in awhile). I know they're out there, but for some reason I just don't happen to cross paths with them frequently, but when I do, I get waaaaay excited! I was on such a high after meeting with M&A that I gushed for the rest of the evening after I got home! I think I would have been devastated if they decided not to book me. I mean, they're my kind of people. I photographed their engagement session earlier this month at Starved Rock State Park, and I'm so excited to photograph their wedding in July 2017!

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Happy Thursday!!!

North Ave Beach Engagement Photographer | Geoff & Stephanie

North Ave Beach, Chicago Engagement Photography.

Every time I shoot in Chicago I fall more in love with it. I just love how diverse the landscape is! One moment you can be in a garden, the next among skyscrapers (or in a garden with skyscrapers in the background), and then you can even hop over to the beach. And the best part is that every single one of those places can be romantic, especially when you add in two people who are head-over-heels in love with each other.   

When I first met Stephanie, it was like catching up with an old friend. She is so sweet, charismatic, and up-beat that it's next to impossible not to get along with her!! It was fun getting to know her and Geoff more while photographing their engagement pictures in Chicago!!

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Fall was juuuuuust starting to show its colors...I think this was the only tree in the park that was starting to change so I was obviously in love with it. 

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After a quick outfit change, we headed over to the Lincoln Park Zoo south pond area for a few minutes.

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We made it to North Ave beach just in time for sunset.

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I really don't think it gets much better than sunset at the beach. 

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Geoff and Stephanie, thank you so much for being up for anything! I had a great time! (Also, Geoff, thanks for driving me around the city...I'm forever grateful FOR REAL!!) See you two in July!! Blessings!

Lincoln Park & Oak Street Beach Engagement Photography | James & Andi

Lincoln Park, Oak Street Beach, Chicago Engagement Photography

They met in 2014 while working at their church's summer camp, and according to Andi, everyone knew the liked each other but them. A few months later, they were on their first date at Lincoln Park Zoo and Oak Street Beach in Chicago. It's been just about two years since their first date, and now they're planning their wedding for next June!!

Since James and Andi had their first date at the zoo, AND James proposed on the South Pond bridge, it only made sense for us to do their engagement photos there, as well as at the beach. It really couldn't have been a better day! It wasn't too hot for summer in the city, and there were storms on all sides that gave us some beautiful skies throughout the entire evening. 

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Confession: I had never been to a Chicago beach during sunset before this session. I was surprised at how peaceful it was! Also, it was pretty darn romantic. 

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James and Andi, congrats again!! Thanks for good times and good conversation!! Blessings!

Saint Charles, IL Family & Engagement Photography | Craig, Elizabeth, & Annabelle

This was a special shoot for me because Liz is my SISTER!! Aaaaaaaaaand, SHE'S GETTING MARRIED!!!! And then there's the tiny little bit about me being the MATRON OF HONOR!!! EEEEEE!!! It's been SO fun being able to chat with her and actually be able to offer help and advice, as opposed to the last two weddings I was in 12 years ago (my sis-in-law's, and my own, haha!) where I barely knew anything about weddings. 

This wasn't the first time I've photographed Liz and Craig together (click), but this time Craig's daughter Annabelle joined in the fun and we made it a combo family/engagement shoot!

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Annabelle is just a couple weeks younger than my Abby, and we're so excited for her to be an official cousin!! Look at how adorable she is!!!

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C&L are having their reception at Kilbuck Creek which has a rustic, outdoorsy feel, so they wanted their engagement pictures to match the mood. They also thought it would be cool to include a big red barn, and the only place I could think of that wasn't private property was LeRoy Oakes in St. Charles. So that was that! 

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Craig is such a good daddy! I love EVERYTHING about these pictures of him and Annabelle!!

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Heart eyes for daaaaaaaaays!!

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FAVE! 

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Craig, Seth and I have considered you to be a part of our family for awhile and we've talked about how perfect you and Liz are for each other, so we're SO EXCITED for it to be official in April 2017!!! Thank you for making my little sis so happy!!! Liz, you're going to be such a beautiful bride and I truly am honored and thrilled to be a part of everything!!! Love to both of you!